A big sense of frustration aboard the good ship Maunie last night. Yesterday's breeze gradually faded away in the afternoon and, in spite of the skipper's best efforts on the wheel for 4 hours, the Parasailor spent more and more of its time deflated as the boat rolled in the gentle swell. As the sun set we were down to less than 2 knots of boat speed and the sail was threatening to wrap itself around the rigging so we dropped it and started the engine again.
At 05.00 this morning, (boat time, 07.00 UTC) Rich and Graham rigged the pole and set the white sails goose-winged in about 11 knots of breeze, shut down the engine and we wallowed sedately at 3-4 knots. Sailors will know that the wind dead aft isn't great at the best of times and a heavy yacht like Maunie really needs 15 knots or more on this point of sail. The added frustration for us is that, with the benefit of wonderful hindsight, we took the wrong decision when we first had to motor two nights ago. We elected to go south-west because the forecast further north was for thunderstorms and very unpredictable winds; those boats in that zone did suffer heavy wind squalls from all directions and an uncomfortable few hours but they then broke into cleaner and stronger North-easterlies much faster than expected and now have good 18-20 knot winds.
Ah, well, that's sailing for you and we're now just focussing on boat speed. The forecast suggests that the wind will strengthen as the day wears on so we'll hoist the Parasailor as soon as we're confident it'll stay filled. The positive of last night was a clear sky full of stars with a quarter moon, with no rain so the deck watch attire was t-shirt, shorts and lifejacket. This morning is cloudy so the temperature is just nice and we're all on deck having breakfast and Fergus is now excitedly reading off boat speed numbers that we've been dreaming of – 6.4 knots. Go, Maunie, go!!